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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleDame Durden
Roud No.1209
Collected FromDunn, Thomas
LocationStratton St Margaret
CountyWiltshire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 4 - Wiltshire: Williams, A: MS collection No 511
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 20th November, 1915, p 2, Part 8, No. 2: Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923, p 129, 130
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

Dame Durden kept five servant maids
To carry the milking pail,
She also kept five labouring men
To use the spade and flail;
'Twas Moll and Bet, Doll and Kit,
And Dorothy Draggletail,
John and Dick, Joe and Jack
And Humphrey with his flail.

Chorus

John kissed Molly,
Dick kissed Betty,
Joe kissed Dolly,
Jack kissed Kitty
And Humphrey with his flail
Kissed Dorothy Draggletail,
And Kitty she was a charming maid
To carry the milking pail.

Verse 2

Dame Durden in the morn so soon
She did begin to call;
To rouse her servant maid s and men
She then began to bawl:
'Twas Moll and Bet, Doll and Kit,
And Dorothy Draggletail,
John and Dick, Joe and Jack,
And Humphrey with his flail.

Chorus

Verse 3

'Twas on the morn of Valentine,
The birds began to prate,
Dame Durden's servant maids and men
They all began to mate:
'Twas Moll and Bet, Doll and Kit,
And Dorothy Draggletail,
John and Dick, Joe and Jack,
And Humphrey with his flail.

Chorus
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS / FSUT: 'The song of Dame Durden enjoyed great popularity throughout the South of England, at harvest homes and other village festivals, and it may still be heard at a few of the inns bordering the Thames. I obtained my copy of Thomas Dunn, Stratton St Margaret.'

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

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